One measure of how sick I was is that it wasn't until the sixth day that I could focus my mind enough to read more than short bits and pieces off news sites and blogs. Before that I had a stack of half a dozen comics, all that remained for me to read from my end-of-January box of DC Comics, sitting unread by my bed. Then, it was kind of slow getting my cotton-filled brain kick-started again. While I could read okay for several days, I was not really able to focus well on framing thoughts into any kind of productive note-taking.
But as I slowly read through those few issues, I discovered something that was reemphasized to me as I also picked up a long set-aside two-volume set of library-bound comics that I'd started well nigh on two years ago, Jerry Ordway's marvelous 1990s series, The Power of Shazam – the simple pleasure of reading for pleasure. Not worrying about taking notes – which like most things I do I end up going obsessive-compulsively overboard with – just reading.
And I decided on something. While I'm not discontinuing this blog, I am going to put a good bit less work into it. No longer am I going to try to write a paragraph or even a short essay about virtually each and every thing I read. It's going to become more a record of my reading than anything else, with mainly just identifying information, a cover image, and maybe some short comment if I really feel compelled either by something that strikes me as overwhelmingly note-worthy or by my sheer enthusiasm for the item. There may be some other type posts as well, both the occasional political, social, or religious commentary as I've done before from time to time, and maybe other types of entries about something I'm reading, such as right now I've progressed from Power of Shazam to another long-delayed reading of a series I had library-bound a while back, Roy Thomas' 1980s masterpiece, All-Star Squadron in three volumes, for which I'm slowly building up a set of historical annotations. But generally speaking, I intend this blog to be leaner and meaner in the future. There's too much damn good stuff out there to read – especially older material, both pulps and comics – that I've been putting off because I've been lingering too long over current comics, both writing up notes while I'm reading and fleshing out those notes once I'm done with a month's set.
Of course, it remains to be seen if my obsessive nature can be held in check. This isn't the first time I've tried to scale back this blog, and it may not be the last. But what I do not want to happen is that I get so overwhelmed by it that I just shut it down completely, and at the worst point last week I was seriously considering just that. Sure, it's a narcissistic exercise, but I do generally find it fulfilling to have a forum to throw my thoughts out there, and do like having the record of my readings and ruminations established if for nothing more than my own aide de memoire. So I intend to keep it around in some form.
In any case, since I've been a bit incommunicado for a while I thought I'd post this revised “mission statement” for the blog, as well as an explanation why.
Cheers, and Thanks for reading.